Tag Archives: Malnourished

Child Malnourished And Kept In Crate

.jpg photo of child abuse graphic
Child was malnourished and kept in a wooden crate.

Preliminary hearing held for 4 people
charged with child abuse in
Stone County, Missouri

STONE COUNTY, MO  –  A preliminary hearing was held on Tuesday for four people charged for child abuse back in November.

Dessa A. Barton, 26, W. Dalton McLendon, 26, Kathreine Kost, 56, and Richard A Hilliker, 52, pleaded not guilty to their charges.  Each face charges of endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse.

In a hearing that lasted more than three hours, the Stone County Prosecuting Attorney presented various pieces of evidence and called multiple witnesses to the stand.  Among witnesses were Stone County detectives as well as the ex-boyfriend of Dessa Barton, who is the mother of the child.

Detectives said the then 4-year-old boy suffered from extreme malnutrition.  They also said the young boy spent extended periods of time in a wooden crate constructed of pallets.

On Tuesday Stone County Prosecutor Matt Selby showed a number of photos taken during a search of the home.

Photos showed the crate itself, a make-shift door for the crate as well as blankets and children’s clothing.  During testimonies, detectives said Dalton McLendon previously denied using the crate for the child, instead they say McLendon said it was used for a dog.

Detectives who gave testimony also said McLendon admitted to spanking the boy and sometimes using a belt on him.  Among the photos shared by Selby was a photo of a belt, which detectives described as “the belt.”

“[McLendon said the child] had this problem where he would pee himself,” Stone County detective Matthew Maggard said.

Maggard also said McLendon told him he had issues trying to get the boy to play with him.

“Dalton said he tried to play with [the child] but he never wanted to play with him because he seemed like a standoff child,” Maggard said in his testimony.

Selby also presented phone records between a few of the four.  All four were present during the hearing, but a few of the defense attorneys said some of the evidence did not pertain to each individuals case.

Detectives had also testified that medical personnel told them the child’s injuries were consistent with physical abuse.  One detective said the boy was quite skinny when they saw him.

One investigator who gave testimony said Barton told detectives in an interview that she did not know how her son had hurt himself.  They said Barton said she believed her son was causing self harm.  Detectives said she told them she thought her son need more psychiatric help than medical attention.

Investigators initially received a 911 call on November 6 about the child being unresponsive in a Billings home.  Emergency crews transported the him to a Springfield hospital, then airlifted him to a Kansas City hospital.

Who Could Starve A Child?

.jpg photo of man charged with death of 14 year old son
Antonio Juan Gonzalez, 33, charged with homicide, Child Abuse.

Father charged with homicide, Child Abuse after emaciated teen son found dead

MERCER COUNTY, PA  –  A Pennsylvania father is facing charges after his 14-year-old son who only weighed 70 pounds was found dead.

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Paul Bacorn, 29, a friend of child’s father, charged with criminal conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child.

The emaciated teen was discovered outside of the family’s home Thursday morning.

Police say his father Antonio Juan Gonzalez is the one who called 911.

The teen was homeschooled and lived in the home with his father and his 4-year-old sister.

Police say their mother died years ago.

The little girl was average weight and seemed to be in good health.

She’s now in state custody.

Police say they can’t believe the conditions the children had to live in.

Lt. Dan Ekis/state police crime section commander:

“It was squalor conditions.  It was in a country setting.  The victim was found just inside the trailer,” said Lt. Dan Ekis, the state police crime section commander.  “We couldn’t begin to understand what this child went through in fourteen short years, but obviously the way he died, especially at the hands of his father, is especially disturbing.”

Paul Bacorn, a friend of the father, is also facing charges for endangering the welfare of a child and criminal conspiracy.

Meanwhile, authorities are waiting for an autopsy to confirm the teen’s cause of death.

VT Couple Accused Of Brutal Abuse

.jpg photo of man accused of brutal child abuse
Roland Withers, 35

Prosecutor:  Exam of ‘Ravenously Hungry’ Children Reveals Disturbing Child Abuse Case

“A Barre couple is accused of extensively harming children known to them—both physically and sexually”

Police and prosecutors in Vermont’s Washington County are calling an investigation into a Barre couple one of their most disturbing cases of alleged child abuse in recent memory.

.jpg photo of woman accused of brutal child abuse
Robin Benedict, 38

“It’s a really concerning fact pattern,” Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault said of the accusations against Robin Benedict, 38, and Roland Withers, 35.

Police affidavits filed with the court Friday outline accusations that the couple subjected multiple children who were known to them to extensive cruelty and harm.

Investigators said there were beatings—even threats of murder.  Interviews with the children revealed the kids could go days without food or be locked in closets for punishment, according to the affidavits.  One young child was allegedly made to drink alcohol, Thibault noted.

The adults are also accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting two children and forcing them to touch each other’s private parts.

Separate defense attorneys for both Benedict and Withers entered not guilty pleas on behalf of their clients to all counts against them.

In one of the interviews described in the affidavits, Robin Benedict said she was afraid Withers might seriously hurt her if she reported the alleged crimes.  However, prosecutors said she was a knowing participant in some of the alleged abuse.

Thibault noted the investigation is ongoing.

Judge Mary Morrissey ordered Benedict and Withers jailed without bail until at least their next court hearings.  In those hearings, defense attorneys may argue for the suspects to be released on conditions, and prosecutors could present evidence asking that they remain in jail until trial.

According to court paperwork, police learned about the situation after the children’s doctor called in an urgent report that they were “filthy and pale,” “ravenously hungry,” and in the pediatrician’s opinion, “at risk of recurrent injury, deprivation, and death.”

Those alleged victims are now in DCF custody.

In the suspects’ Barre neighborhood, the accusations were deeply upsetting to other parents.

“To hear even just one child is torture,” said Barre resident Amanda Plante.  “So I really do hope those kids can find peace.”

The chief of police in Barre said the community and state take sexual violence and crimes against children very seriously, and he wants survivors to know help is available.

“There are a lot of resources in the community and there are a lot of contact points,” said Chief Tim Bombardier.  “You can deal with your healthcare provider, you can go through victim advocate services, you can even contact the police department and ask to speak to me.”

UT Mother Charged With Felony Child Abuse

.jpg photo of Utah Mother arrested for felony child abuse
Mother arrested for failing to provide safety, proper care or food for her children.

Woman arrested for Child Abuse after
toddlers found in bug infested trailer
without any food

WASHINGTON COUNTY, UT  –  A woman has been booked into jail on a charge of child abuse after police say her children were found filthy and underfed in a trailer infested with cockroaches and other bugs.

According to a statement of probable cause, Virginia M. Martinez has been booked on one count of child abuse as a third-degree felony.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says they responded to Martinez’s home on the Shivwits Reservation April 7 due to a verbal argument between Martinez and a male subject.

Responding officers say Martinez was intoxicated, agitated and hard to reason with and that the inside of the trailer was “destroyed”.  Police say there were holes in the walls, floors and ceiling.  They said one bathroom had an inoperable toilet inside a shower, while in another bathroom the toilet worked but the shower was inoperable with holes in the floor.

Police say Martinez’s two children were filthy and a 3-year-old boy covered in mud was eating noodles off a counter that were so old they had dried out and changed color.  A 2-year-old girl was also found to be very dirty, and both children had bug bites on their bodies.  Police say the trailer was infested with cockroaches and other bugs.

Martinez did not have food in the home, documents state, and police say it appears she had no transportation or means to get food.  Police say a family member came to the home while officers were there and told them the woman is an addict but doesn’t want to go to rehab to get clean.

Police say they observed the 2-year-old girl playing near a broken porch and asked Martinez to keep an eye on the girl, but the woman told police the girl had fallen before and learned her lesson and would not fall again.  The child then fell off the porch and was checked out by medical personnel.

Martinez was arrested for child abuse and for failing to provide safety, proper care or food for her children.  Police state the Division of Child and Family Services were to take custody of both children.

Babysitters Are Rats And Roaches

.jpg photo where Child was left alone overnight
A FedEx deliveryman discovered the lonely boy.

5-year-old Bronx boy’s parents left him home alone for a night in feces-stained apartment

New York  –  The flies and the neighbors were still buzzing Saturday after a 5-year-old boy was abandoned all night by his parents inside their vermin-riddled Bronx apartment.

Mom Charlotte Lewis, 49, and dad Wilfred Lewis, 59, were arrested for leaving the child home alone — except for the cockroaches, rats and flies.

“A couple of times they would leave the door open and I always told my boyfriend, ‘Oh, that house is kind of disgusting,’” said Deanna Strom, 27, one day after a FedEx deliveryman discovered the lonely boy.

The Kingsbridge Ave. apartment, in addition to the living critters, featured feces splattered across the walls when cops arrived on the scene Friday afternoon.

A stench of decay wafted from the apartment Saturday, when a squadron of flies remained visible through a hole left in the front door where the knob was missing.

“I couldn’t imagine that at all,” Strom said about the vile conditions inside the home.  “It was pretty disturbing.”

On top of the repugnant state of the residence, there was no food inside the refrigerator, authorities said.

The parents were arraigned in Bronx Criminal Court Saturday night on endangerment charges.

Prosecutors said three out of the four children recently had scabies and the little boy left alone had bugs on his body and in his coat.

“This is not a case of poverty, but severe child abuse and neglect,” said Assistant District Attorney Nick Lastella.

There was combination of live and dead rodents in the home and “significant blood smears in the apartment, particularly in the bathroom and on the toilet,” Lastella said.

The boy told police that he last saw his parents on Thursday night, cops said.

Authorities found his mother at Montefiore Medical Center where she works as a nurse.  Prosecutors said she is enrolled in a masters program at New York University.

The boy’s father is a technician for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The couple has three other kids — a 12-year-old girl, a 13-year-old girl, and a 15-year-old boy — although none were at home when police arrived.

All four kids are at Montefiore for observation, prosecutors said. Bail for their parents was set at $15,000.